We had the good fortune of connecting with James Schmachtenberger, the CEO of Neurohacker Collective, and we’ve shared our conversation below.
James, what is the most important factor behind the success of your brand, Neurohacker Collective?
At Neurohacker Collective we are scientists, medical practitioners, biohackers, and health-conscious creators sharing our knowledge and techniques to help optimize the quality of your life—beginning with your mind. We create best in class well-being products by employing a unique methodology to research and development based on complex systems science. This scientific approach focuses on supporting the body’s ability to self-regulate, rather than overriding regulatory systems with chemicals designed to move a biomarker in a particular direction. The company began with a focus on cognitive products with the launch of its Qualia nootropic line and have continued to provide comprehensive products for overall peak performance.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others. How did you get to where you are today business-wise?
There are two things. One is that at a pretty young age I started putting a lot of attention on what I inherently had gifts around, and noticed areas that I struggled around. I’ve worked to surround myself with people who excel at and love the things that I’m not good at; as a result, I have been able to focus a lot of my energy and attention on things I’m uniquely good. I’ve been able to continue to advance and develop my innate capacities while continuing to develop the right kinds of teams and partnerships to ensure everything that needs to be taken care of is taken care of in a very well rounded fashion. Rather than trying to push myself in areas I’m not strong around, I focus on my strengths. I think there is a really deep value in honest, objective review of oneself in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Another is throughout my career I’ve focused on being able to integrate heart and compassion into work. Oftentimes they are seen as totally differentiated areas and that when it comes to work you just do whatever is needed. There is often a tendency for people to rationalize things they wouldn’t normally feel good about in their personal life, but do so because ‘it’s how things are done’ in business. My goal and my intention is to take beliefs and values systems from my personal life and carry those forward into business, even where that happens to make certain business dynamics more challenging. In the long run it ends up creating a much deeper sense of trust with my teams and customers. By acting with heart and compassion, it affords the opportunity for people to see that choices are being made from a perspective of trying to support and help as many people as possible, and are not oriented around taking advantage of or being able to gain personal benefit at the expense of others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them?
This is a funny question to answer in the COVID environment. If we’re taking it out of the frame, then being mostly vegan, the places I’d tend to want to eat at or take people to would fall under that category. Kindred and Cafe Gratitude are two of my favorite restaurants. There is also a vegan place The Yaisi which has great sushi and Japanese food. Other than vegan food, a lot of the beauty of San Diego is in the beaches and hiking trails. If I wanted to show a friend the best time ever on a weeklong trip, then perhaps I’d take them on a weekend trek to a place like Julian. A lot of my love for San Diego comes down to the people and community, so what I would do with visitors in a non-COVID environment would be bringing them into various community events where they get to spend time with like-minded people who are all working to make the world a better place. Currently, it’d be just my house and maybe the beach.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give my shoutout to the book The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I was introduced to it at a young age and I’ve read it a few times in my life. It offers a really beautiful and somewhat unique way of looking at life and at the world that I’ve found personally quite valuable.